Blu-ray, DVD Release: An Actor’s Revenge

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 20, 2017
Price: DVD $20.74, Blu-ray $25.99
Studio: Criterion

A uniquely prolific and chameleonic figure of world cinema, Kon Ichikawa (The Makioka Sisters)  delivered a burst of stylistic bravado with the 1963 drama An Actor’s Revenge, an intricate tale of betrayal and retribution.

Set in the cloistered world of nineteenth-century kabuki theater, the film charts a female impersonator’s attempts to avenge the deaths of his parents, who were driven to insanity and suicide by a trio of corrupt men. Ichikawa takes the conventions of melodrama and turns them on their head, bringing the hero’s fractured psyche to life in boldly experimental widescreen compositions infused with kaleidoscopic color, pop-art influences, and meticulous choreography.

Anchored by a magnificently androgynous performance by Kazuo Hasegawa, reprising a role he had played on-screen three decades earlier, An Actor’s Revenge is an eye-popping examination of how the illusions of art intersect with life.

Presented in Japanese with English subtitles, Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of the film include the following:

* New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Rare 1999 Directors Guild of Japan interview with director Kon Ichikawa, conducted by critic and filmmaker Yuki Mori
* New interview with critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
* New English subtitle translation
* An essay by critic Michael Sragow

Buy or Rent An Actor’s Revenge

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.